Saturday, May 7, 2011

Cover to Cover: Virgin Games 1992 Catalog (Order Form cont'd)

We're walking through the 1992 Virgin Games catalog, finishing up the order form pages.  In the pre-Web era, software was still distributed primarily on physical media, and some publishers (like Virgin) offered their wares directly to consumers via mail order.

Today, there are two primary computer gaming platforms -- the PC and the Mac -- and modern compilers, engines and development tools ensure that the same codebase and assets can (to a great degree) be deployed on all supported platforms.  But in 1992, a publisher had to consider a wider range of machines, with different processors and widely varying capabilities:

The IBM PC alone had separate SKUs for 5.25" and 3.5" floppy diskettes, the Atari ST and Amiga computers were still commercially viable, and even the Apple II+/IIe/IIc and Commodore 64 were still in the product mix, though the Apple II family was clearly on its way out.  Virgin was also supporting the more powerful Apple IIgs, the fledgling CD-ROM format for PCs, and the company even had one product (Spirit of Excalibur) for Commodore's ill-fated CDTV console.

The insert wraps up with the actual order form, with a toll-free ordering hotline, a very reasonable $4.00 basic shipping fee for any order, and an up-to-4-week shipping window (for currently available products.)  The digital era has made a huge difference in the realm of distribution -- availability is no longer constrained by physical product stock, and we've become more accustomed to instant download gratification for all kinds of software tools.

Next time, we'll return to the full-color catalog proper.

No comments:

Post a Comment